As superoxide (*O(2)-) and hydroxyl radical (*OH) have been implicated in pathogenesis of Parkinson's disease, free radical scavenging, antioxidant, and neuroprotective agents have attracted attention as ways to prevent progression. We examined effects of zingerone, an alkaloid extracted from ginger root, on 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA)-induced dopamine (DA) reduction in mouse striatum. Zingerone administration 1 h before and for 6 more days following one intracerebroventricular 6-OHDA injection prevented reductions of striatal DA and its metabolites, and increased serum *O(2)- scavenging activity. Zingerone did not change activities of catalase or glutathione peroxidase in striatum or serum, or *O(2)- scavenging activity in striatum. Treatment with diethyldithiocarbamate, SOD inhibitor, abolished the protective effect of zingerone against 6-OHDA-induced DA reduction. In vitro, zingerone scavenged *O(2)- and *OH and suppressed lipid peroxidation only weakly. Thus, direct antioxidant effects may be a minor component of its putative neuroprotective effect; instead, zingerone acted mainly by increasing systemic superoxide dismutase activity. Effects of zingerone treatment in this model suggest possible value in treatment of Parkinson's disease.